A freedom of expression to children!

allowing-chidlren-the-freedom-of-self-expression

The implementation of school uniform policy is directed at solving a number of problems at schools: poor performance, attendance, violence and bullying. A socioeconomic gap is the main reason for bullying at schools and it affects the performance of students (Lopez, 2003). The school uniform, as the name says, unites all the students regardless of financial situation and other attributes which make them different. However, children are not willing to wear it because it restricts their freedom of expression and choice.

The proponents, Baumann & Krskova (2016) support the policy stating that school uniform will help to improve performance as children will not be focusing on the clothes they wear but on studying. Conversely, the opponents of the policy believe that it might affect the identity and freedom of choice of children (Bigger, 2006). Every individual has a right to choose what to wear and how to wear.Taking into account different age of children, is it possible to say for sure that they know what is right for them and what is not? Mark Vopat (2010) says that it is not right to force students to wear a school uniform but it is not applicable to children under the age of 14 (Grade 8). He says that younger children lack an ability to differentiate between mere expression and substantive expression. In terms of clothing, it implies that they do not know what their true style is when they are younger. Before they reach an appropriate age all the decisions regarding their “school style” is made either by parents or school.

   question-mark-guys-duoIs it right?

 

Wearing a school uniform may give a feeling of belonging to those who were different. However, being different might be considered to be a virtue rather that a flaw by some. It is hard to tell if children are right to demand a freedom to express themselves wearing what they want. I personally think that children must not be forced to wear a school uniform probably it is better to suggest alternatives like allowing children to wear what they want but with some alteration. For instance, restricting to wear particular things that might be harmful to students and the environment in any way or may contain an inappropriate message. To what extent do you agree?

 

 

References:

Baumann, C. & Krskova, H. (2016). School discipline, school uniforms and academic performance. International Journal of Educational Management, 30(6),1003 – 1029.

Lopez, R. (2003). The long beach unified school district uniform initiative. A prevention-intervention strategy for urban schools. The Journal of Negro Education, 72(4), 396-405.

Vopat M. C., (2010).  Mandatory school uniforms and freedom of expression. Ethics and education, 5(3), 203-215. doi: 10.1080/17449642.2010.519139

Photo credits:

http://www.myfreewallpapershub.com/cute-baby-loveable-hd-wallpapers/

http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/allowing-children-freedom-self-expression/

http://qefes.net/sekil-axtar/%C3%A7%C4%B1lg%C4%B1n-soru-i%C5%9Fareti.html

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “A freedom of expression to children!

  1. Dear farihandro, your blog includes analysis of proponents’ and opponents’ controversial opinions about the school uniform. It also opens some insights into some issues that I did not pay attention like “wearing a uniform might give a feeling of belonging to those who were different.” Recently reading news I came across an article about the school unifrom in Kazakhstan. It stated that the parents whose children wear hijabs or mini skirts to the school are going to be penalized. After reading this article I came to the decision that is close to your opinion. I believe that each school should decide whether to have an uniform or not. The decision should be obeyed by students, that is it. What do you think about the culture’s effect on the school uniform issue? For instance, the same solution can not be applied for Iranian(“fixed” culture) and American (multicultural state) students, can it?

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    1. Dear yasawi859,
      The culture of the country does affect the school uniform policy. I believe school uniform can be applied anywhere but appear differently. For the countries as Iran, it is possible to have ‘hijabs’ as school uniform and in America it could be a skirt and a jacket. Nevertheless, any type of school uniform has an impact on students. Therefore, I agree that students should be the one to choose.

      BTW, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I feel like writing more on the topic of restricting religious attributes at schools with school uniforms.

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  2. Dear, Fariza, thank you for sharing this topic. As I know you are interested in this topic since 1st semester. When we discussed this topic on the lessons, I saw your interest in it. Actually, i support the scholars that you mentioned, who are propentns of school uniform. I also deem that every school should have school uniform.
    It doesn’t destroy their self-expressing. It is only the clothes. At school they should learn express themselves through their gained knowledge.byBy the way, they do not spend whole day at school. It is only half of the day. They have have weekends, holidays or even after school time, where they can wear what they want. During my school time, I had classmates from various social conditions: children from very rich and very poor families. We had children whose parents were politicians, lawyers, businessmen etc. At the same time, there were children who had only one parent or large family, who did not have good living conditions. However, the school uniform allowed to be equal. This equality does not mean that we think equal or we had some common ideologistic views about something that surprised our self-development. No and no. Just this uniform helped us not to judge by clothes. It is known, that children are very cruel members of society. They say what they really think. And imagine, from the birth you were dressing very rich clothes you know their quality, all brands and so on, and you came to school where your peers wear cheap ones. It gives not good impression from the first day. Yes, of course, all these depends on children’s upbringing. However, judging person by cloth is somehow unconscious act of human-being.

    On the other hand, I want to raise the issue of school uniform comfort. In fact, mostly Kazakhstani uniforms are white shirts and black trousers for boys or black skirts for girls. These clothes are not comfortable. Some girls do not like wearing skirts. The skirts are too cold for some regions’ climate. I think there should be more alternative of school uniforms such as T-shirt or some light blouses and so on.

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  3. Well done, Fariza (5/5) I hope you will take this discussion further in future posts, as there is a lot of room for discussion about the role of schools in relation to religion, socialization, culture, and parenting. You have done a great job integrating scientific articles into what is generally an opinion-based discussion. If you go further in this direction, be sure to maintain your academic lens that you look through this issue from both sides and find the strengths and weaknesses in the texts and studies that you find!

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